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Second fatality from rodent-borne 'Hantavirus' at Yosemite

deer mouse

Photo by USFWS Mountain Prairie via Flickr Creative Commons

Deer mouse.

A second person has died from a rodent-borne illness following a stay in one of Yosemite National Park's most popular lodging areas.

Federal epidemiologists learned of the fatality over the weekend, and federal officials say they're increasing efforts to warn visitors about Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), which can be carried by dust particles that come into contact with the urine, saliva or feces of an infected deer mouse.

Four people recently contracted the illness, say public health officials, and in each of the four cases, visitors stayed in the "Signature" tent cabins at Curry Village, a cluster of rustic accommodations at the base of Glacier Point. About 1,700 visitors may have been exposed.

Yosemite officials say visitors who stayed in the village from mid-June to the end of August should beware of any symptoms of HPS -- which can include flu-like fever, aches, dizziness and chills -- and to seek medical help immediately. Officials say symptoms may develop up to six weeks after exposure. 

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